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American Indians & Tulsa, Oklahoma Prepared for Leadership Tulsa By Hugh Foley, Ph.D. Rogers State University.

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Presentation on theme: "American Indians & Tulsa, Oklahoma Prepared for Leadership Tulsa By Hugh Foley, Ph.D. Rogers State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Indians & Tulsa, Oklahoma Prepared for Leadership Tulsa By Hugh Foley, Ph.D. Rogers State University

2 Early Eras 12,000 to 24,000 years ago, the paleo-Indians camped, hunted, and lived in the Tulsa area along the rivers. 12,000 to 1 A.D. Many examples of Clovis and Folsom cultures have been found in northeastern Oklahoma, to include the Tulsa area. Mississippian Period (800 – 1400) –Spiro Mounds

3 Pre-19 th Century Osage – followed the buffalo into this area in “ancient times” according to tribal elders. Caddo and Wichita, both descendants of the Spiro people, had villages and farms in the area. Quapaw, related to the Osage, known to area. Comanche, Kiowa, Plains-Apache ride in on hunting, flint collection, and war expeditions. Pawnee villages further up the Arkansas

4 Removal (1828 – 1836) Many tribes suffered tragedies at the hands of the U.S. Government under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson. Trail of Tears Trail Where They Cried The Long Walk The Trail of Death

5 Muscogee and Cherokee Arrive Osages are not happy about the Cherokee being “given” Osage Territory by the U.S. Government. Osage Cherokee battles require the establishment of Ft. Gibson in 1824, then the furthest point west established by the U.S. Government.

6 Civilized/Uncivilized Southeastern Tribes are called civilized because of their embracement of European cultural, economic, social, and religious concepts. However, the incorporation of these concepts do not prevent the tribes from being removed. Who, then is uncivilized? Western tribes.

7 Hard Facts If government census records are correct, roughly 10,000 Muscogee people died on the removal. The U.S. Army forced 24,000 Muscogee to Indian Territory in 1836 and In 1857, the Bureau of Indian Affairs counted 14,888 Creeks in Oklahoma.

8 Council Oak Lucvpokv Tribal Town members arrive in 1836 on the Arkansas River. Establish a meeting place at present-day 18 th and Cheyenne Avenue, and deposited their ashes in communal fire pit.

9 Borders Established 1833 – A boundary line needed to be established to separate the Osage Nation, Cherokee Nation, and Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Currently, that line is approximately Edison Street, extended east from Tulsa to current Highway 69 at Choteau, then south to Fort Gibson

10 National Boundaries The land north of the current Elwood Street is where the dividing line sits. Tulsa,+OK,+USA&ie=UTF8&ll= , &spn= , &z=16&om=1http://maps.google.com/maps?q=W+Edison+St,+ Tulsa,+OK,+USA&ie=UTF8&ll= , &spn= , &z=16&om=1 Cherokee Nation to the Northeast and Osage Nation to the Northwest.

11 Golden Age? Cherokee and Creeks re-build –Council houses –Court houses –Schools –Missions –Economic Development –Newspapers

12 Civil War Creeks and Cherokee leave their homes, farms, and towns Return to find them destroyed Since some factions of both tribes fight with the South, the U.S. government considers those treaty violations and reduces their land bases. Enter the carpetbaggers, railroad men, speculators

13 Railroads 1882 – Land owned in common by Creeks Like many other cities in early Indian Territory, Tulsa was a rail head, where equipment and supplies could be stationed for further railroad construction to merge the Frisco and M, K, and T (Katy) Railroads that would link Missouri and Kansas with Texas.

14 First Tulsa Townsite Creeks were more liberal about white settlement than Cherokees, sold license to railroads and other business people. One had to marry a Cherokee to do business in the Cherokee Nation. In 1882, the town site is established on land only inhabited by one Creek, Noah Partridge, who lived in a log cabin with his family.

15 Tulsa’s name Corruption of Tullahassee, old Creek Tribal Town. Tvlwv – “Dullwa” – Town Vhvse – “uh – huh – see” – Old Old Town Tulsey Town

16 Stomp Dances and Ball Games Ceremonial activities of the Muscogee continued until at least 1890, and still continue today. Check out ball pole at Tulsa Creek Indian Community Center going south of town on Highway 75. Stomp Dance

17 19 th Century: Part II After the Civil War, the government turns its guns to the west and the Plains Tribes. Ultimately, the enrollment and allotment process begins in Once enrollment has taken place, and land is allotted to individual tribal members, the rest is opened for settlement. Many tribal members, lose land to unscrupulous swindlers.

18 Prominent Creeks of Tulsa Perryman Family were a huge, extended mixed-blood family with large land holdings throughout the area that would become Tulsa. Hodge Brothers – Landholders, politicians. Thomas Gilcrease (1890 – 1962) – Oilman, art collector, established Gilcrease Museum.

19 20 th Century After allotment and statehood, tribal governments are abolished, tribal ceremonies are outlawed, and children are forced into boarding schools where they are prevented from speaking their tribal language – Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act allows for incorporation of tribes.

20 20 th Century Continued As an urban area, Tulsa draws many Native people to its employment opportunities in petroleum, aviation, and construction. As a result, some of the first intertribal powwows as we now know them occurred in Tulsa, starting with the Tulsa Powwow Club in the 1950s.

21 Unique Population Many Nixon-era programs (and action by AIM), such as Indian Self-Determination Act, and other legislation regarding housing, education, and economic development, help tribes and Native American individuals begin a steady comeback. As of 2000, more than 55,000 American Indian people live in the Tulsa metro area.

22 Today Gaming – Cherokee, Osage, and Creeks Untapped Tourism Opportunities Economic opportunities and tax relief for businesses within tribal boundaries who employ tribal members. Cultural diversity and cultural opportunities that provide broad world view for citizens.

23 Just Look Around Tulsa Indian Art Festival Tulsa Powwow Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa Indian Health Care Resource Center Gilcrease Museum 207 foot, 11 story, statue “The American” could bring in millions of $ to Tulsa

24 Leadership Moment American Indian mascots should not exist because they –Stereotype all native people as one monolithic culture –Make light of important cultural lifeways –Encourage anti-Indian imagery

25 Great Resource for Tulsa History Tulsa’s Magic Roots by Nina Lane Dunn. Oklahoma Book Publishing Company, 1979.


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